Wind farms controversial in Eastern Ontario

Is Big Wind going to win out over community concerns?

Is Big Wind going to win out over community concerns?

Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, July 27, 2015

Can communities say no to wind turbine installation? The answer, my friend, may be blowing in the wind.

The Township of North Stormont will hold a council session on Tuesday where they will be receiving a report from chief administrative officer Marc Chenier and community planner Amy Doyle on proposed renewable energy projects in the region.

Three companies presented their plans for energy projects in North Stormont at the council meeting on July 14. The proposals are available online via North Stormont’s council’s agendas. (https://oc-tns.vbiz.ca/index.php/s/8wArNG2DW9FqGOu)

EDF proposed a substation to funnel energy from a project in The Nation Municipality and have secured a lease with a landowner south of County Road 9.

Leader Resources is planning a 61 MW wind turbine operation on the east side of the township, around Crysler and Berwick. According to their proposal they will build no more than 21 turbines.

EDP is looking to build turbines on the west side of the township, proposing a 100 MW operation of 29-50 turbines. EDP will host a community meeting on Aug. 6 at the Finch Community Arena to meet with the public and discuss the large renewable procurement (LRP) process.

Council will have to decide whether or not to support the projects, however, they will have little say over whether or not the projects go through.

As noted in the report, townships can declare themselves unwilling hosts, while this has been perceived as opting out of having projects take place in the region, this is not how the application process works. Ontario’s Green Energy Act allows all decisions regarding the placement of renewable energy projects to be carried out at the provincial level of government. According to the report, municipalities have little to no say in whether or not they will have renewable energy projects in their region.

“Almost all of those who declared themselves as an unwilling host still received a renewable energy project (i.e. wind turbines),” the report reads.

The projects have received backlash from the community. When Crysler local Todd Brazeau got the notice about companies looking to put wind turbines in, he contacted his municipal council and MPP to protest.

“It seems like the community doesn’t have a say and the politicians aren’t being honest at all,” Brazeau said.

MPP Jim McDonell started a petition requesting “that the Ministry of the Environment revise the Green Energy Act to allow full public input and municipal approvals on all industrial wind farm developments.”

According to McDonell, the petition already has hundreds of signatures.

“People are upset,” McDonell said. “We don’t benefit from (these projects) in general.”

EDP Renewables has taken the brunt of the negative response from the community. Leaflets distributed with McDonell’s petition in May made specific mention of the plan to put in 29-50 turbines. EDP declined to answer questions regarding public response to their proposal.

North Stormont mayor Dennis Fife said that almost all of the township’s council are opposed to the installation of wind turbines, but noted declaring as an unwilling host will do nothing to stop the project, only cut down on the cents per kilawatt incentive for the renewable energy companies.

“I don’t think it is a good thing,” Fife said. “Wind will never replace nuclear.”

Twitter.com/BrentHolmes240

Comments

John Vincent
Reply

I thought it would have been abundantly clear by now that communities have no say in whether they receive green energy or not. The wind/solar companies have a virtual free range to do whatever they want regardless of the communitiy’s desires.
You’re only way out is if you are in a Liberal urban riding. They have been cancelled (e.g. Scarborough Bluffs wind project)

John Foreman
Reply

John….. They’re not erecting IWTs on provincial government owned land either! Witness what’s happening in the former South Cayuga Township in Haldimand County. All 200 + IWTs, in Haldimand, are located on privately owned land! If Wind “Farms” are such a great idea, why doesn’t the Provincial Liberal Government erect them on land they already own… especially P.C. ridings like this one? This would cut down on “neighbour vs. neighbour” conflict would it not? No need to talk individual farmers into signing a lease agreement! Just “blanket” these thousands of acres with them! The GEA is already in place to give the “green light”! Is the Provincial Government concerned about property values or other negative factors that may effect their OWN land?

John Vincent
Reply

John, I quite ageee with what you’re saying. Your illustration can be used across the province. And we can’t counter greedy people to step up to the plate even if it means shuning by their neighbours.
I’m sure you’ve noticed there is something of a move effot to do just as yoour say with proposals on Crown Land at Bon Echo, Bancroft and the still born proposal in Mattawa.
None the less, the off shore proposal off the Scarborough Bluffs was stopped rapidly due to local Liberal ridings saying no, in similar terms to the gas plant nulification in Oakville. Apart from that there hasn’t been any move to put them in or near the major urban load centers. Let’s face the urbanites don’t wan them any more than we rural people, so why poke the bear when the bear votes you into office.
I agree, the Liberals don’t care about property vales et. al. when it comes to rural people at least.

ScepticalGord
Reply

There have been dozens of wind turbine projects proposed, and a few built, on provincially owned crown land.

A little research would go a long way.

John Vincent
Reply

………and your point is?

ScepticalGord
Reply

“John….. They’re not erecting IWTs on provincial government owned land either!”

“If Wind “Farms” are such a great idea, why doesn’t the Provincial Liberal Government erect them on land they already own…”

Barbara
Reply

All the disposable income that’s being sucked out by the Ontario energy sector is going to affect GTA retail businesses sooner rather than later;

Anyone at or near retirement age in the GTA might consider selling their property while it still will bring a big price.

It’s not just manufacturing that will be going down.

Tracy
Reply

Ontario, I’m afraid you’ve been had, by your own government; that who put in place? Wow.

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